UPDATE: 'Instagram Migrant' Who Captured His Journey In Photos Turns Out To Be Spanish Handball Player Hagi Toure
A young migrant appears to have Instagrammed the joy and fear of his journey from North Africa to Europe in a serious of posts showing him terrified on a small boat, hiding in a truck and being manhandled by police.
Abdou, who appears to be in his early 20s and uses the Instagram account abdoudiouf1993, began posting around a week ago and claims to have walked for days across the desert, slept outside with "no food" and paid thousands of euros for a place on a boat to make the illegal crossing to Spain.
He describes being cold and scared on the week-long, dangerous journey from Senegal, and says he is making the trip for a "better future".
In his first post he appears with a smiling woman, writing "Today i start a new dream. Today i start my travel to Europe for a better future for my family. I will be telling all my tryp [sic] here. The good and bad moments. Hope yo [sic] like it."
Abdou posts pictures of a haircut before his travels, and a final meal cooked by his mother, writing that she is "too old" to work and his journey is for her. He adds that he is "ready for everything" and "prepared for the new experiences."
The first stage of his long journey is apparently on a motorbike driven by his friend, which can be seen loaded up with boxes and containers. "Problems tears and cold but now im positive [sic]" he says, while making a 'peace' sign with his fingers.
The exact route of Abdou's journey isn't clear, but he mentions beginning in Dakar in Senegal, and then being driven by a friend to Nouadhibou, a city in neighbouring Mauritania, before he moves on to Morocco and crosses the sea to Spain.
Saying he is on the way to Atar, in Morocco, he is pictured having his hair washed with a bowl of water, and writes: "Changing plans. Two click wheels. Very tired. Stop and go".
From this point his journey seems to become more difficult - one picture shows him downcast and sweaty after apparently walking for two days in the heat. Other people can be seen in the picture behind Abdou and he posts: "The guide Says we cant stop. Or we will lose two Thousands euros i pay for the boat to cross." [sic]
The next picture shows the group camping outside with a fire, in what Abdou says is the desert near Morocco. They have "no food" except juice and cookies, he says.
He is next shown cramped in a small space, saying he is hidden in a truck trying to cross a border, before the group make a dangerous boat crossing. Abdou seems to be unable to travel on the boat he had originally paid to use. "No money and no big boat," he says. He is forced to row "all night" in a small inflatable rowing boat and says he is "really scared".
Finally, the group appear to land safely in Spain, where they embrace on the shore, and Abdou posts that the moment is "a big step for my future" and "We tired but happy. Very danger trip" [sic] with the hashtags #bigday #nopainnogain #lovinglife and #positivity.
Finally the land os oportunities. We tired but happy. Very danger trip. #happy #bigday #nopainnogain #smail #celebration #brothers #instagood i#instalike #instamood #instadaily #lovinglife #alwaysfinddaway #positivity #timetoshine #walkyourtruepath #beyourbestself #unfprgetable #instagramers #photooftheday #photochallenge #beautiful #follow #feelgoodphoto #instalovers #excited
He also comments on the photo, saying that "things not as I expected", and seems to run into difficulty in the next post, which appears to show him being grabbed by police.
The Huffington Post UK contacted Abdou, who said he was in the town of Tarifa in Spain. HuffPost is awaiting his response to further questions about the photographs and his story.
The final post on the account shows Abdou wrapped in a gold thermal blanket with another man, saying they are going to an internment centre. "They call it cie. Not a good place to stay" he comments.
Comments on his pictures range from supportive messages to those who are angry about his illegal trip and call for him to return home.
"Get the fuck out of my country" writes one commenter, while another says "Get out of my country please, these things you are doing are illegal and are harming many poor spanish citizens, because they're not receiving their financial aids."[sic]
But others reacted warmly to his pictures and posted messages saying: "Congratulatioms [sic] and good luck from Barcelona. I wish you all the best and hope all your dreams come true!" and "Stay strong bro."